Sharron Angle and Media Bias

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Sharron Angle, the Republican nominee to face Sen. Harry Reid in November, is very conservative. We actually knew that before the Nevada primary was called for her on Tuesday night. What most people didn’t know was just how radical her views actually are. Now we’re reminded that, in an echo of Dr. Strangelove,  Angle opposed flouridation. We’re told that she claimed to be a member of the Oath Keepers.

The same thing happened to Rand Paul—the most damaging, controversial things he supported and said only got national attention after he won the Republican nomination for Senate in Kentucky.

Here’s why this happens: Politicians in one party (in this case the Dems) are always rooting for the more vulnerable candidate to win the other party’s primary. So they hold off on releasing whatever dirt they’ve dug up on the weaker candidate until after the primary’s over. 

It’s a good bet that some in the media was rooting for Angle last night. That’s not because journalists are rooting for Reid to face a weak candidate. It’s because they’re rooting for a good story. Angle’s hardcore conservatism makes her a great story. She’ll drive eyeballs and pageviews for the rest of the year, and help the journalists who cover her become nationally known.

It’s not that the media was holding back before—it’s just that there’s a lot to cover. Now Angle’s the only Republican in a top-tier race and the Dems oppo is about to be unleashed. Not only did she get more important when she won the primary—she also got a lot easier to cover. Everything she says will get a lot more attention, and she won’t be able to get away with gaffes that might have been survivable in the primary. If she slips up and says something that the media considers unforgivable (something that can be used to paint her as a racist, anti-semite, birther, or 9/11 truther, for example), she’ll get torn apart. It’s a nasty business.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate